Lifting of Liberia sanctions "a testament to what can be achieved"

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David Pressman, Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs of the United States made statements at the Security Council meeting: The situation in Liberia. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The complete lifting of UN Security Council sanctions against Liberia is "a testament to what can be achieved" when they work properly.

That's the view of the United States Ambassador for Special Political Affairs to the UN.

The current sanctions regime came into effect in 2003, following the end of Liberia's long-running and brutal civil war.

Daniel Dickinson has more.

US Ambassador David Pressman addressed the Council immediately after the unanimous vote to end the sanctions.

As the Council member leading the adoption of the resolution, he said the successful removal of sanctions showed how effective the tool could be, when used properly.

 "This was a testament to what can be achieved when sanctions are deployed with purpose, grounded within a clear strategy for promoting international peace and security, and coupled with the necessary political progress from governments.

For Liberia to safeguard the gains achieved over the past 12 years, we encourage the government to prioritize the further capacity-building of its security sector and by continuing to strengthen the capacity of its security agencies to better monitor arms flows, mark weapons and patrol its borders."

Sanctions had been gradually reduced, and concerns were raised that the Liberian government has still not introduced a legal framework to regulate the buying and selling of arms.

But Mr Pressman said that "perfection is not the goal" and Liberia had done all that was asked of it, to merit the full lifting of remaining sanctions.

"Today" he added, "we celebrate this transition and the role this Security Council has played in restoring peace to Liberia."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1'13"

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